Uesato brace helps Ceres defeat Stallion again, lead in table further cemented

Ceres Negros Uesato

Takumi Uesato made amends in his earlier wastefulness to score two second half goals in quick succession en-route to a 2-0 Ceres Negros win over Stallion Laguna in Pana-ad.

The first half began in a way similar to how the previous clash started. Hosts Ceres immediately unleashed themselves on the offensive while visitors Stallion were more pensive, focusing on defending their goal.

Such approach handed The Busmen an early chance as striker Takumi Uesato was able to unleash an attempt that only went marginally wide hitting the upright that forced itself only to the side-netting.

The slight difference between this encounter, in the first half at least, was the Laguna-based squad were more direct and dangerous when it came to their counter-attack via Jesus Melliza, Ruben Doctora and Yannick Tuason as Ceres goal-keeper Toni Doblas produced some fine saves and defensive efforts to maintain the deadlock.

The visitors’ counterattacking threat was a bit in contrast to the hosts who, although were presented with the bulk of possessions and chances, were more wasteful in their attempts as a few chances that could have been converted ended up sailing agonisingly wide of the target compounded by some stellar moments by Stallion keeper Benito Rosalia.

Most of the proceedings in the first forty-five minutes had been very much in the balance but in the end there was nothing to separate the two sides as the referee blew the whistle to signal the half-time break.

In the second half, both squads still stuck to the same behaviour and approach with Ceres again being wasteful on a few occasions.

Meanwhile the rest of Risto Vidakovic’s wards had Toni Doblas to thank for due to some of his fine reflex saves to keep Stallion Laguna at bay who were ever threatening on the counter-attack.

As the match continued on with its usual ebb and flow, with Ceres dominating most of the proceedings save for getting a goal as wasted chances and speculative attempts dotting most of their offensive efforts, eventually the hosts found a breakthrough six minutes after the hour mark.

The previously wasteful Uesato finally broke the deadlock to give his side the lead after connecting with Mike Ott’s well executed cross with a short rushing stab to convert the ball to a goal.

Four minutes later, like a completely different player Uesato was able to regain his previous self as he finally got his lethal touch and clinical finishing to get his second goal of the match after beating an on-rushing Rosalia with a great piece of skill and composure to find himself unchallenged in putting the ball into the back of the net.

The two strikes in relatively quick succession from the Japanese forward unsettled Coach Ernest Nierras’ squad for the next few moments as The Busmen were able to mount a mini-siege of their opponents’ final third on a few plays only to fail to convert and further pad the lead.

Eventually Stallion Laguna were finally able to recover and dust themselves from their predicament as they tried to search for at least a consolation goal, coming close on at least two occasions only to be denied by Toni Doblas’ stellar keeping for the night.

In the end, Uesato’s double-strike proved to be the decider as the referee blew the final whistle for a two-nil result in favour of the hosts, who in turn further increased their grip of the lead in the PFL standings with 41 points – nine points ahead of closest chasers, Kaya FC Iloilo.

Photo credit: Ceres Negros FC Facebook page